Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Retracting his train of thoughts, Rong Zhi's slightly relaxed gaze once again rested on the door before him.
In fact, in recent days, it was not that he was not aware of the sudden changes in the Princess's routine. He, of all people, had regarded it with profound vividness and clarity in his eyes. Nevertheless, he had a calm and firm disposition and was extremely skilled at the gentility of nobles, unlike the state of surprise and anxiety that Liu Se and the others expressively displayed.
When Liu Se came looking for him today, Rong Zhi was abruptly aware of one issue. In the entire Imperial residence, if even he refrained from coming to probe into what had happened to Princess Shanyin, no one would dare to come and be the first for fear of the risk of intruding and possibly offending her.
Rong Zhi sighed as he gently raised his hand and pushed the door open.
It was dark and cold in the bedchamber. The lamps were not lit and the fragrant incense that the Princess usually favored had also been removed.
He involuntarily frowned.
During this instant when the light from outside accompanied the sound of the door hinge creaking just like spirits plunging into the bedchamber, Rong Zhi heard a low voice from behind that broad dividing screen. "Who's that?"
That voice sounded unmistakably familiar yet strangely unfamiliar at the same time. It was a low, soft, gentle and husky tone… It was exactly what he had heard numerous times before but never once the way it was now.
Seemingly from an extremely distant place, it was calm, firm and reserved. It possessed relief and almost felt as though the owner had experienced rebirth breaking out of a cocoon.
In the blink of an eye, Rong Zhi thought he was in a different world and had met another person.
"Who's that?" Perhaps because of the lengthy silence, the person behind the dividing screen could no longer wait for the reply and repeated another time.
Rong Zhi stood at the doorway with his outstretched hand and gently gave the dividing screen blocking the doorway a push. Sadly, he merely managed to push it a small fraction of distance away and was already out of strength. A ray of sunlight, hardly a liberal amount, spilled into the room. Rong Zhi lowered his head and stared fixedly at his own slender hand before exhaling lightly. "It's me, Princess. I am Rong Zhi."
After making a detour around another dividing screen as he strolled towards the inner bedchamber, he then came across the Princess's bedchamber. Unsurprisingly yet surprisingly as well, he caught a glimpse of Chu Yu atop the bed.
Although Princes Shan Yin had already been married, she still enjoyed the excitement from extensive male companions. Even so, Princess Shanyin still had the appearance and age of a young lady. From Rong Zhi's view, she was precisely that beautiful young lady who was dressed in dark clothes. Her long jet-black hair was like silk hanging loosely as she sat by the bedside.
In the darkness, the elegance and warmth of the young lady's looks still deceived everyone, yet her expression was one of lucid calmness, almost completely different from the indistinct thin smile that Rong Zhi was familiar with.
At the same time, Rong Zhi also detected that in just a few days of not seeing the Princess, her refined face seemed much thinner. He secretly had his doubts. 'What has actually happened to Princess Shanyin's body?'
"It's you." Chu Yu glanced at Rong Zhi. The young man's graceful demeanor was as elegant as before, still exuding an air of calmness and indifference similar to what she had seen on the first day she came to this place. He did not have any headgear on but merely twined his inky-black hair into a bun while securing it in place by using a hawksbill turtle hairpin.
However, the present Chu Yu was unlike the panic-stricken woman from a few days ago. She could even calmly scrutinize the young man by sizing up his appearance and measuring the weight of his status and identity.
Although she felt somewhat depressed about Princess Shanyin's habits and behaviors, Chu Yu could not help but admit that this woman's take on aesthetic beauty was utterly amazing. If she were unaware of Rong Zhi's identity as a male companion, she would most likely have mistakenly thought this young man of refined expression to be the son of some distinguished noble or an influential high-ranking official.
"How did you come in?" Chu Yu raised her eyebrows, giving him a very confused look. If her memory served her correctly, she had supposedly given her servants orders to be stationed outside to turn away visitors. Could the guards have slacked off?
Rong Zhi did not give an answer but took two steps forward, bringing him to stand in front of Chu Yu. He gently responded, "Princess, it's already been quite a few days that you haven't stepped out of the room. We're very worried..."
Princess Shanyin indifferently prompted, "Worried about what?"
Rong Zhi smiled in a rather relaxed manner just like the moonlight on flowing water. Tranquil and serene, his tone was also immensely relaxed and at ease, even somewhat casual. "I'm only worried that you're missing out on spring as the days pass whilst the season continues to the hot summer. Then, it won't be that fun anymore."
Chu Yu initially thought he would be worried about her health, yet she did not expect him to say such words. She was surprised and could not help smiling. "You're right. Time does fly just like the tide and waits for no one. Indeed, I should refrain from continuously confining myself in such a manner."
A glimmer of light flashed in Rong Zhi's eyes as he spoke, "In fact, I've also been feeling extremely baffled. In these days, what have you been brooding about in the bedchamber, my Princess?"
"What's been occupying my mind?" Chu Yu subtly raised her face forming a graceful curve from her chin to her neck. She suddenly smiled in a relaxed manner. "I've been pondering about a lot of things... Some about the past while others are the present, bidding farewell to those that are already unrecoverable while giving up on those I won't ever meet any longer in my lifetime, accepting things that have happened, and then facing them as they aren't dreams." Every shred of the 21st century Chu Yu possessed had been lost the moment she opened her eyes.
Her family, friends, familiar livelihood, and surroundings… As well as her life.
Supposedly, if one got lost, the first task was essentially to keep calm and refrain from behaving like a headless housefly dashing around in all directions. The next thing to do was to calmly observe the surroundings around and make a judgment that was to one's utmost benefit. Once judgment had been made, one should decisively take action.
Although she had crossed through time and space, losing one's path within history should be the same.
However, getting lost this way resulted in her losing too much, so much to such an extent that she spent no less than five days sorting out her thoughts and state of mind.
Initially, she felt panic and shock, then she was in agony and felt at a loss. After she was clear-headed and calm, she cast her past aside with resolve and pondered about her future. There were too many changes in her state of mind.
'I thought I had died, yet I'm still alive.'
'I can't return, so what should I do?'
'Face it head-on and confront the present.'
The scalpel of calm thoughts began to slowly slice through her numbing wound part by part.
From being at a loss and unsure what to do to sorting her thoughts and emotional state out in an organized way, Chu Yu's soul had gone through what could practically be considered as a self-development test that was somewhat like being bathed in the flame of rebirth. It would be a lie to say that there had been no pain in the process, but luckily, it was already over.
Despite having prepared herself well to face whatever that was to come, it took great efforts to establish a solid mentality. Yet, given her instinctively wary and skeptical nature as well as her uncertainty towards her surroundings, Chu Yu remained reluctant to push the door open to walk outside.
Until Rong Zhi came in...
He pushed the door open, allowing the radiance of the sunshine to pour in, which triggered his feelings. It was similar to pushing open the tightly closed-door of his heart which he was unwilling to open.
Chu Yu rose to her feet. She did not have any shoes on. As she took small steps across the glossy ice-cold floor, the traces of chill from the coldness seeped through the soles of her feet into her body, yet it rendered her to be even clearer-headed and steadier.
She walked towards the door and steered around the dividing screen that was askew, thereupon catching sight of the abundance of spring which assaulted her senses. There was the sight of the freshly sprouted tender greens that greeted her, and the streams of lucent and mellow sunlight that easily illuminated the dark recesses of her heart. It undoubtedly swept the depression hanging in the air clear and abruptly lifted Chu Yu's spirits.
"Such beautiful scenery and landscape!"
These few days, she had confined herself within her room, which had also inadvertently closed off herself from this wonderful view outside her room.
She turned her head around then gazed upon Rong Zhi, sincerely and wholeheartedly said, "Many thanks." The bright sunlight fell upon her exquisite face that had a complexion that resembled white jade, making her snowy white skin appear translucent.
If it was not for him intruding, she never knew how long she was going to keep dawdling.
The one saying these words was not Shan Yin's Princess Liu Chuyu but rather the other Chu Yu who somehow penetrated the flow of time a thousand years later, overcoming insurmountable hindrances to arrive at this place.
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